Iceland has been a party of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) since 1997.
In 2013, Iceland and Namibia took the initiative of launching the ‘Group of Friends (GoF) of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.’ The group consisted of 23 countries aiming at maintaining the momentum generated by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) on issues related to desertification, land degradation and drought.
Based on Iceland’s experience in fighting land degradation and in accordance with the objectives of the UNCCD, the Icelandic Government established the UN Land Restoration Training Programme (LRT) in 2007. The mission of LRT is to train specialists from developing countries to combat land degradation and restore degraded land. Furthermore, the LRTs goal is to assist strengthening institutional capacity and gender equality in the field of land restoration and sustainable land management in developing countries. On 1 January 2020 the Programme became a part of the GRÓ Centre, the International Centre for Capacity Development – Sustainable use of Natural Resources and Societal Change, which is under the auspices of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).